If you can't let go of your physical media, grab yourself an ASUS GL552.

Update 1 December 2016: We took another look at the market for optical drive-equipped laptops and found that our previous picks still stand.

The best

ASUS ROG GL552

ASUS GL552

See at Amazon

Not only is the ASUS GL552 one of the finest entry-level gaming laptops you can buy, it also has an optical drive without being overly thick and heavy. The 15.6-inch 1080p display looks fantastic and it comes with Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, 8GB of RAM and a mixture of SSD and HDD storage as standard.

Throw in ports galore (including USB-C), dedicated graphics from NVIDIA, and an easy-access upgrade bay to add more RAM and storage, and the GL552 is a bona fide winner. It's also one of the most subtly designed gaming laptops around, so you could take it to work and not feel silly.

Bottom line: Subtle styling, powerful internals and an attractive price complement the optical drive here perfectly.

One more thing: If you're into more serious gaming you can improve on the base model's GTX 950M so long as you're happy to pay a little more.

Why the ASUS GL552 is the best

While technically a part of the Republic of Gamers family, the GL552 is a great laptop that everyone can enjoy. It's well made, has great specs, sports a balanced price and, of course, an optical drive. It adds that physical media slot some can't live without and doesn't make an insanely thick and heavy laptop in the process.

The GL552 is a bit like a Swiss Army Knife

Unlike many gaming laptops, the styling on the GL552 is subtle enough that you could take it into a meeting without feeling embarrassed. It also has a great keyboard, quality speakers and a very nice-looking 1080p display. So not only can you game and work, but you can have a great time enjoying your media and getting work done.

The GL552 IS a bit like a Swiss Army Knife; it can help you through a great deal of computing situations.

Specs galore

Dell Inspiron 15 5000

Dell Inspiron 15 5000

See at Dell

If you need a laptop to fit a certain criteria, there's a good chance you can find a Dell to suit that bill. The Inspiron 15 5000 series is your best bet if you want that optical drive, and there are a wealth of other specifications you can customize around it.

It's fairly sleek as far as laptops with optical drives go, has a 15.6-inch 1080p display, up to a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor, options for SSD or up to 2TB of HDD storage and up to 16GB of RAM. With the broad range of options come a broad range of prices to suit many budgets. And it looks pretty stylish, too.

Bottom line: Sleek, sophisticated looking and packing that all important optical drive.

One more thing: Check out Dell's Outlet site for potential savings on as-new laptops.

Good value

Lenovo Ideapad 510

Lenovo Ideapad 510

See at Lenovo

If you're looking for a solid value option that's still well equipped, Lenovo's Ideapad 510 might be what you're looking for. Without breaking the bank it packs great specs and an optical drive if you want one. You've got choices of Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and a sub-$700 price point that makes the Ideapad 510 quite the purchase.

Throw in a stylish look, 15.6-inch 1080p display, audio by Harman, oodles of storage and the build quality we've come to expect from Lenovo laptops over the years, and you're pretty much ready for anything.

Bottom line: Great value, well built and well equipped.

One more thing: Lenovo makes some great laptop keyboards, perfect for heavy typists.

For gamers

Acer Predator 15

Acer Predator 15

See at Acer

Acer's latest gaming focused notebook has a very neat trick: you can have it both with and without an optical drive. The slot the drive lives in is a little modular caddy and if you need some more cooling while gaming, you can slide out the optical drive and replace it with an additional cooler. Pretty neat.

Besides this niftiness, you've got a Core i7 processor, 16 or 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a combination of HDD and SSD storage and a really nice 15.6-inch 1080p display. And of course, top notch graphics from NVIDIA. It's quite pricey, but it's also an awful lot of laptop.

Bottom line: Power galore for the serious gamer who still wants to be able to use physical media.

One more thing: The drive can be swapped out for a cooling fan when you need to keep the temperature down more than you need to spin up an optical disc.

The best

ASUS ROG GL552

ASUS GL552

See at Amazon

Not only is the ASUS GL552 one of the finest entry-level gaming laptops you can buy, it also has an optical drive without being overly thick and heavy. The 15.6-inch 1080p display looks fantastic and it comes with Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, 8GB of RAM and a mixture of SSD and HDD storage as standard.

Throw in ports galore (including USB-C), dedicated graphics from NVIDIA, and an easy-access upgrade bay to add more RAM and storage, and the GL552 is a bona fide winner. It's also one of the most subtly designed gaming laptops around, so you could take it to work and not feel silly.

Bottom line: Subtle styling, powerful internals and an attractive price complement the optical drive here perfectly.

One more thing: If you're into more serious gaming you can improve on the base model's GTX 950M so long as you're happy to pay a little more.